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Scottish Initiatives during the pandemic

It’s become customary to tune into the latest daily briefing from the UK Government and we have become well-versed in the assistance and support provided being offered during this pandemic. A number of my colleagues have already commented on the support available, which can be found on our Coronvirus Hub page.

The Scottish Government have also rolled out Scottish-specific initiatives to help support business during these challenging times

, more details of which can be found at www.findbusinesssupport.gov.scot.

Two of the funds set up to support businesses in May were:

  • Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund (“PERF”) – a support fund for viable but vulnerable SMEs in Scotland.
  • Creative, Tourism and Hospitality Enterprises Hardship Fund (“CTHEHF”) – aimed at small and micro creative, tourism and hospitality companies not in receipt of business rates relief.

Whilst applications for these have now closed it is encouraging to see that both funds were recently increased in size from £90million to £120million (in respect of the PERF) and from £20million to £30million (in respect of the CTHEHF), meaning that those that have a pending application may have a better chance to secure some vital funding.

In addition to the above mentioned funds, the Scottish Government introduced the Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund (“NSEHF”). This is in addition to the Self-Employment Support Scheme announced by the UK Government. The aim of the NSEHF is to support those who have become recently self-employed (after 6 April) in Scotland and are therefore not eligible for support from the UK Government. More information on the NSEHF can be found at https://findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/service/coronavirus/newly-self-employed-hardship-fund.

Finally, another Scottish Government initiative worth noting is the creation of a £100million emergency loan fund to support small and medium-sized housebuilders who have been affected by the temporary closure of building sites.

More information can be found at https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-liquidity-support-sme-housebuilders/, but essentially the fund will provide short-term funding with the following key features:

  • the loans available will be between £50,000 and £1million, limited to 25% of a company’s annual turnover;
  • the loans will be subject to a fixed interest rate of 2% per annum; and
  • repayment terms will be flexible, however full repayment will be expected within 24 months.

The support and initiatives provided are an evolving picture and the First Minister’s announcement today that the lockdown restrictions are set to be eased on 28 May will bring some comfort to all business.  At MBM we’re here to help so If there is anything that you would like to chat through in relation to your business in these difficult times, please contact Craig Edward or any other members of the team.

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